Senator Blackburn Meets With 101st Active Duty Airborne Soldiers in Normandy, France, on 80th Anniversary of D-Day


Senator Blackburn Sends Off Tennessee National Guard Troops Being Deployed to the U.S. Southern Border


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Senator Blackburn Welcomes Middle Tennessee Honor Flight With Korean & Vietnam Veterans to Washington, D.C.

America shines as a beacon of freedom in a dangerous world because of the powerful sacrifices our active-duty service members and veterans have made to preserve our freedom. Regardless of whether battles of the future are fought on land, air, sea, space, or cyberspace, our men and women in uniform need to be armed with the most advanced technology and best weaponry to defend our nation. When their service comes to an end, we must ensure that no veteran is left behind and all veterans receive the benefits and timely access to quality care that they deserve.

Blackburn Commemorates 80th Anniversary Of D-Day In Normandy

What Senator Blackburn Is Doing To Support Veterans

As a member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, Senator Blackburn has worked to honor the sacrifices that veterans and their families make. This issue is especially important to her because Tennessee is home to more than 400,000 veterans who have bravely served our country.

In early 2024, after reports emerged that the Biden administration was prioritizing medical care and benefits for illegal immigrants over veterans, Senator Blackburn pressed Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough for answers and introduced legislation that would block Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) resources from being used to provide taxpayer-funded health care to illegal aliens. Additionally, after learning that the VA elicited nearly $11 million in unjustified bonuses to senior executives within the department, Senator Blackburn led a letter calling for the immediate dismissal of the responsible officials for this egregious mishandling of taxpayer dollars.

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Senator Blackburn has also introduced legislation, the Veterans Health Care Freedom Act, that would make medical care more accessible for veterans who too often face weeks’ long wait times to access basic services. This bill would remove the VA from the community care referral process, allowing veterans to receive health care in their communities from a provider of their choice. Additionally, the VA Quality Health Care Accountability and Transparency Act would increase transparency from the VA by requiring them to make staffing and quality of care data of individual VA facilities publicly available on their website.

Furthermore, in 2021, Senator Blackburn’s bipartisan bill to improve the VA caregiver program was signed into law by President Trump. The TEAM Veteran Caregivers Act strengthens transparency and communication and formally recognizes caregivers of veterans by identifying any caregiver in the electronic health record of the veteran.

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Senator Blackburn also led a bipartisan effort to address the challenges female veterans face when seeking mammogram services by expanding access to mobile mammography units, improving advanced mammography equipment, and enhancing outreach services to better publicize mammography services.

In the cybersecurity space, Senator Blackburn has worked to protect veterans from scams and malicious attacks. In 2022, her bipartisan Strengthening VA Cybersecurity Act was signed into law. This legislation protects veterans’ personal information, many of whom are seniors, from being leaked and targeted for scams by requiring the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to obtain an independent cybersecurity assessment of VA information systems and submit to Congress a plan to address the cybersecurity weaknesses found in the assessment.

What Senator Blackburn Is Doing To Support Our Troops In Tennessee

Tennessee is blessed to be home to several military facilities, including Fort Campbell and  Arnold Air Force Base. Senator Blackburn is committed to ensuring that our service members have the resources they need to carry out their mission and defend our nation.

In the FY2024 National Defense Authorization Act, Senator Blackburn secured crucial priorities that will bolster our nation’s security and directly benefit Tennessee’s military families, including promoting innovative research and projects at facilities such as Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Y-12 National Security Complex, advancing cybersecurity, and supporting our service members with the largest pay raise in over 20 years. 

Senator Blackburn has also fought back against woke mandates by the Biden administration that have pushed our military into the worst recruitment crisis in decades. After the Defense Department forced thousands of troops out of service with its COVID-19 vaccine mandate, she led a measure in the FY2023 National Defense Authorization Act that successfully repealed this disastrous mandate.

As America faces greater threats in space from our adversaries, Senator Blackburn also led legislation to establish a Space Force National Guard and prepare America to take on the challenges from the New Axis of Evil: Communist China, Iran, Russia, and North Korea.

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Blackburn Secures Wins for Tennessee

As Communist China and their fellow New Axis of Evil members continue to escalate their aggression, it’s vital our military stands ready. As such, we succeed by supporting servicemembers and their families, promoting innovative research, advancing cybersecurity, and providing our men and women in uniform with the resources they need to fight and win.

Senator Blackburn fought to secure vital wins in the Fiscal Year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that will bolster our nation’s security and Tennessee’s military and research communities.

Key Points on Senator Blackburn's Work:

  • Support the Pathfinder Program by encouraging additional funding for defense capabilities and partnering with private sector developers at Vanderbilt University and the University of Tennessee at Knoxville;

  • Support the classified additive manufacturing partnership between the Air Force Research Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory for future Air Force assets, including at Arnold Air Force Base;

  • Secure funding to support a multipurpose training range at Fort Campbell that trains and tests the skills necessary to detect, identify, and defeat stationary infantry and stationary or moving armor targets in a tactical array;

  • Authorize funding for CH-47 Block II Chinook Helicopters, including those flown at Fort Campbell;

  • Provide funding for the planning and design of a new air traffic control tower at Fort Campbell;

  • Authorize the construction of the Uranium Processing Facility at the Y-12 National Security Complex;

  • Support projects funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), including autonomous vehicle research at Tennessee Tech University;

  • Support the Cavitation Erosion Research project between the University of Memphis and the Memphis Detachment of Naval Surface Warfare Center, which studies cavitation erosion on combat ships and other vessels at the William B. Morgan Large Cavitation Channel (LCC) at Carderock’s Memphis Detachment, one of the world's largest and most technically advanced high-speed, variable-pressure water tunnel facilities; and

  • Include report language addressing the establishment of a pilot program to provide DoD with qualified civilian personnel to ensure the U.S. has the talent to address cyber vulnerabilities.

    • This builds upon Blackburn’s bipartisan measure in the FY2021 NDAA that created a pilot program allowing the National Guard to provide “rapid, remote response for cyber assistance” to state and local governments, along with critical infrastructure entities when they are hit with cyberattacks. 

To learn more about Senator Blackburn’s work on the FY2023 NDAA, click here.

To learn more about Senator Blackburn’s work on the FY2022 NDAA, click here.

To learn more about Senator Blackburn’s work on the FY2021 NDAA, click here.

To learn more about Senator Blackburn’s work on the FY2020 NDAA, click here.

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